Provincial Nominee Program-Canada

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No points required

  • Submitting a permanent residence (PR) application through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) may be a way of getting into Canada if you cannot earn enough points to enter under Express Entry without a nomination, or if you do not meet the criteria for any other federal program.
  • PNP's can be particularly advantageous for low or semi-skilled workers, such as truck drivers, as they do not qualify for any other skilled Federal program, whereas some provinces will accept them under the PNP.

No LMIA required

  • Many PNPs give you the ability to start working in Canada once the provincial government has approved your application, but before the federal government has granted you permanent resident status.
  • In these cases the provincial government provides a letter of endorsement that you submit to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), along with your temporary work permit (TWP) application.
  • The letter of endorsement from the provincial government releases you from the need for the LMIA that normally is required before a person can apply for a TWP.
  • Then you can move to Canada and start your job while your permanent residence visa application goes through the process.
  • But the exact terms and conditions of each PNP are unique, so make sure that you understand the rules that govern the PNP through which you are applying.


  • Each province has a limited number of PNP slots, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on the province.
  • It is common for a province's quota to be used up in the first half of the year, sometimes even in the first few months of the year.


  • A Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) is a program that a province has created to attract immigrants who can bring with them attributes that will benefit that province.

  • The PNP is a partnership between a provincial government and the federal government.

  • The provincial government performs an initial screening, checking that the prospective immigrant meets the criteria of that particular province's PNP. Those criteria are specific to the province in question, and are different from the criteria used to screen skilled worker applications described above.

  • Each province's PNP values different attributes in prospective applicants, depending on that province's needs. Some PNPs favour entrepreneurs who will create businesses that, in turn, will create employment for local residents. Some PNPs favour people with specific skill sets that are in short supply in that province. You need to read the website of each province's PNP to find out if there is a match between your credentials and the requirements of that province's PNP.


  • Once the applicant has been approved by the province's PNP, he/she submits his/her application for permanent residence to CIC. Then CIC does the checks that are done on other PR applicants (medical condition, police records, etc.).

  • If CIC finds everything to be in order, it issues a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) that the applicant needs to bring to his/her port of entry when he/she "lands" in Canada.

  • When a PNP applicant lands in Canada and activates his/her PR status, he/she must satisfy the immigration official at the port of entry that he/she intends to reside in the province that approved his/her PNP application. However, since it sometimes is not practical for a person to land in his/her destination province, it is permissible to land in another province and then make one's way to one's destination province.

  • When the applicant lands in Canada, a CIC officer checks the applicant's passport and COPR. The CIC officer may ask some questions to corroborate claims that the applicant made during the application process (medical condition, character, available funds, etc.). If the CIC officer is satisfied that the applicant meets the criteria, he/she admits the applicant into Canada as a PR.

  • Caveat. Notwithstanding a province's acceptance of a PNP candidate's application, the CIC officer reviewing the applicant's file has the right to evaluate the applicant's likelihood of becoming economically established in Canada. If the CIC officer determines that the applicant is unlikely to become economically established in Canada, he/she has to refer the file to another CIC officer for a second opinion. If both CIC officers concur that the applicant is unlikely to become economically established in Canada, the candidate's application can be refused. About 2% of PR applications in the skilled worker and PNP classes are rejected on the basis of CIC officers' assessments of applicants' economic potential.

Once in Canada

  • Members of the BE forum often ask if they can enter Canada via a PNP, activate their PR status, and then move on to another province.
  • The answer is that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has grown stricter in assessing, monitoring and enforcing an applicant's intention to live and work in the province that nominated him/her.
  • In addition to that, you need to read carefully the agreement that you sign with your nominting province, and you have to take note of the terms and conditions to which you are committing yourself.
  • It would be possible to lose your PR status if you demonstrated that you had acted in bad faith when you applied for PNP.
  • Like other PRs, provincial nominees also have to spend 2 years out of every 5 years in Canada.
  • But, if you're acting on the spirit of your agreement with the province that nominated you, you in any case will be living in your destination province (and therefore in Canada) most of the time.

List of PNPs

Of Canada's thirteen provinces and territories, eleven have Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs). They are:

The provinces and territories that do not have PNPs are:

  • Nunavut
  • Quebec (however, Quebec has its own immigration rules, effectively a "super-PNP" Quebec Immigration)

CIC's web page on Provincial Nominations has links to the PNP websites of the individual provinces.